TL:DR Chocolate is hard to match. Drink these wines with chocolate. Stray at your peril.
Perhaps you are thinking it but too embarrassed to ask. Perhaps you’ve given up. Maybe you’ve got some kind of immunity.
Let’s be honest, chocolate makes wine taste awful. It’s probably some mystical being’s way of saying “you’re over indulging”. But I want my chocolate and a drink with it too.
You see, the chocolate you’re nibbling on is already quite tannic, and it is fatty and sweet. So you’re adding to the tannin load in your mouth but the fats and sugars really are the bummer. The fats coat your mouth and bring forward the acid and tannin without all the lovely flavour. And sweet foods rarely complement dry wines anyway.
What to do? What… to… do…
You can abstain, but I’ve never really been a fan of abstinence.
You can just plough through and drink whatever you’ve got in your glass and hope for the best.
Or we can think creatively. I’ll give the easiest and simplest answer at the start. Pedro Ximenez sherry. PX for ease of pronunciation. What can I say? If you’ve tried it you’re nodding enthusiastically and licking your lips. If you haven’t tried it then why not? Click ‘Buy Now’ below because you’re in for an experience.
If you’ve gone for some quality chocolate that is less sweet you can also look at Marsala which has all the impact of PX but with some more structure and less richness.
If you’re more into the red wine styles or less sweet wines and/or you’re into the dark chocolate, you can always look at a quality Port.
But these are all fortified wines. What about table wines?
Well I’m ruling out white wine and Rose. Sorry, but I can’t do it and can’t see it working. They lack acid and robust flavours. Maybe a big creamy Chardonnay. Maybe, but don’t hold me responsible if it fails.
So that leaves reds. You want full body, ripe, not too much tannin and bags of flavour. To me this is Malbec, warmer climate Shiraz, Grenache, Zinfandel and some Tempranillo. Especially, these reds would match chocolate that have fruits, nuts or other similar pieces added (not pop rocks and jelly though).
My star choice is this red blend from Veneto. The softness and depth of flavour are exactly what I’m looking for. Add to that it is a really lovely drink and you’re on to a winner.
I am also going throw out to you Sparkling Shiraz. Because of all of the matches, this is the one I would go for 99% of the time.
What do you think?
Is there a way for wine and chocolate to co-exist? I am talking only in its form as a block or egg (we saw five packs of Cadbury eggs for $10 today!). When you get creative and use it in cooking the textures and flavours change drastically. I still long for the quail in chocolate sauce from Chez Phat , bring it back Rufino, please. I have one more match, old gold chocolate and Coopers Stout. It was like swirling dance in the most exquisite style.